Review of Kluge by Gary Marcus

I respect Gary Marcus’ research tremendously, but I found his latest popular science book glib and unconvincing. For details of why read my review of “Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind” from BBC Focus magazine #191 (July 2008):
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One Comment

  1. Posted August 31, 2009 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    Gary is a friend and I admire his work but I agree with some of your assessment of Kluge. I was disappointed with it compared to his previous books. It has some interesting practical advice but the theoretical points it makes are fairly superficial in my mind. It just didn’t grab me the way Birth of the Mind and The Algebraic Mind did. The brain was cobbled by evolution. Only so far that takes you. Same problem Gould ran into. The brain is full of spandrels. Hard to go anywhere from there. To his credit, Gary does come up with principles based on his idea, but it seems like a self-limiting idea not a big thought-provoking idea at all.


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